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>PD Nov. 28, 1994, V2, #212

Israelis Prefer CNN

Israelis are watching CNN International in greater numbers per capita than any country in the world. According to the Israeli Gallop Poll, 28.2 percent of Israeli cable TV viewers watch CNN at least once a day, making it the most popular foreign news service in Israel. On days with special events, 49 percent of the cable-viewing public are watching the CNN reports.

Britain Calls PLO a Criminal National Security Threat

The PLO is alleged to have $10 billion in assets and an annual income of $1.5 -$2 billion mainly from illegal activities, this according to a report from Britain's National Criminal Intelligence Services (NCIS) given to the Government Accounting Office (GAO), the auditing arm of the US Congress. The NCIS also termed the PLO a national security threat. The GAO report was compiled despite obstruction from the US State Department.

West Bank Drive-by Gunmen Kill Rabbi

Patricia Golan (Jerusalem)

In the Israeli-occupied West Bank, gunmen believed to be Islamic militants opened fire on a car carrying Jewish settlers. One Israeli was killed and another wounded.

Israeli settlers say unidentified gunmen in a speeding vehicle fired at the car heading for the settlement of Otniel, just south of Hebron. Reports say there were at least two armed men who fired on the Israeli car, which then went out of control and overturned.

The Israeli who was killed has been identified as the rabbi of Otniel, who headed a religious seminary in the settlement. A policeman who was riding in the car was wounded.

The attack took place near the al-Fawwar refugee camp. Tensions in the area have been high since last February when a Jewish settler shot and killed 29 Muslim worshipers and wounded dozens more at a Hebron mosque.

Israel Radio says an anonymous caller to the station claimed the drive-by attack was carried out by the military wing of the Islamic resistance movement -- Hamas -- the main opponent of the Israel PLO self-rule agreement. There have been many such shootings in the past, some of them in the same area. Most of the attacks have been claimed by Hamas.

Israeli soldiers have launched a massive hunt for the attackers.

Hamas Hadera Bus Terrorist Sentenced to Death

By Patricia Golan (Jerusalem)

An Israeli military court in the West Bank has sentenced an Islamic militant to death for planning and orchestrating a suicide bus bombing last spring that killed five Israelis. This is only the third time Israeli courts have sentenced terrorists to death. In both earlier cases, the sentence was reduced on appeal.

The convicted terrorist -- 24-year-old Said Badarneh from the West Bank village of Yabed -- was sentenced to death by the Jenin military court for his part in the April bus bombing in the central Israeli town of Hadera. Five Israelis and the bomber were killed and 30 others were wounded in the blast.

Badarneh was a member of the militant Islamic organization Hamas, and headed the group which carried out the attack. A Hamas bomb attack on a bus also killed seven people in the town of Afula in April, and more recently 22-people died in a similar attack in the heart of Tel Aviv.

In their decision, the three-judge panel wrote they had decided for the death penalty, because life sentences, the standard penalty for such convictions, have not deterred murderous attacks by Islamic militants against Israelis.

While some Israeli politicians called the unusual sentence a just one, most called it shameful, violating Jewish tradition. Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin says he opposes the death sentence in principle, saying that carrying out the sentence would be a blunder.

The death penalty, though legal in Israel, has been used only once -- the execution of Nazi Adolf Eichmann in 1962 for Crimes Against the Jewish People.

Israel to Allow Imports of Non-Kosher Meat

On January 1, the Industry and Trade Ministry will allow the import of meat products into the country. The meat products include kosher and non-kosher, and frozen and non-frozen products. This follows years of legal efforts on the part of meat importers attempting to require the Ministry to allow meat imports. In order to protect local interests, the Ministry will have the authority to place duties on the imported meat products. Until now, the Government has been the only importer of meat -- all of which was kosher -- into the country.

Germans Honor Jewish World War I Dead

The German military for the first time honored Jews who died fighting for Germany in World War I. The honors came in Memorial Day commemorations recently. In a ceremony attended by Jewish leaders, Klaus Naumann laid a wreath at Berlin's Weissensee cemetery, where 395 Jewish soldiers are buried.

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